Location, Identity and Mobiles

Phil Windley writes:

Britt Blaser introduced me to RAVE Wireless. RAVE Wireless provides mobile for colleges and universities. Bringing the mobile systems inside the tent at a university enables lots of interesting applications. While RAVE looks like a mobile company, I see them as an identity company.

Another interesting mobile identity application I ran across yesterday is Equals. You won’t get much out of their Web site, but I saw a demo. Equals provides you with control over the messaging options people have to reach you based on profile choices you make. For example, you can set it so that when you’re traveling, email is your preferred channel, SMS and voicemail are accepted, but voice is disallowed. Presence is a real foundational element for a lot of interesting applications. It’s been long promised — maybe we’ll finally get somewhere.

Three Forces

Ashby M. Foote III writes:

One of the most insightful commentators on the changes at work in the economy is Chris Anderson, editor of Wired magazine and author of a brilliant new book, The Long Tail. He cites three forces that are transforming the economy and creating vast new opportunities at the grassroots level for small and boutique businesses. Force 1: The democratization of the tools of production. (The obvious example is the PC as a tool for publishing and multimedia.) Force 2: The democratization of the tools of distribution. (For instance, the combination of the PC and the Internet makes everyone a distributor). Force 3: Connecting supply and demand. (Search filters and feedback loops like those found on Google, iTunes, Amazon, and Netflix help niche content find interested buyers and users.)

Personalised Home Page

Niall Kennedy writes:

Custom personal homepages are undergoing a transformation powered by modern improvements in browser technologies and the availability of Web content through feed syndication. The popularity of the feed aggregator has enabled new modes of common consumption, including scaled-down experiences of a personal homepage with the 10 most timely pieces of information for each user. If the number of “add to X” personal homepage buttons on pages across the web is any indication, there is a change in reading behavior as new users turn on their personalized experience and add new content once they understand what’s possible.

The growth of the personal homepage faces a few challenges for companies in the space. How do you convert cookied temporary users into user accounts? How can such websites help users discover and add new content to their pages, increasing the usage value and collecting valuable ad profiling data along the way?

Mobile Music Streams

[via Veer] TamsPalm-the Palm OS Blog writes:

Eventually, technologies like GPRS became available – however, their adoption was slowed down by the high initial pricing(in fact, many german users kept on using CSD many years after the GPRS introduction for financial reasons). Add in UMTS or EDGE, and also the lower prices, and you now have wireless data transfer systems that are capable to handle Skype and Shoutcast streams.

People love radio because of a simple reason: it always is available, and it provides you with no-frills music. You just tune into a station and have fun . At least, thats the ideal imagination. In reality, radio has a few shortcomings:

* You cant choose what songs you get
* Transmission quality is instable

Now, if a provider could bundle up something like Napsters music flatrate with an unlimited data transfer package and a decent shoutcast player on a mobile phone, they could essentially offer custom radio to their customers.

TECH TALK: The Now-New-Near Web: Facebook and Feeds (Part 2)

Fred Wilson wrote shortly after the feature was introduced: Social networks to date have been these big unmanageable messes. Facebook is addressing that by giving users a tool to consolidate the information they care about (Jessica’s friend tagged four photos with her name the other day – that’s worth knowing).Facebook is changing the experience in a significant way by surfacing in a very efficient (but also very public) way the data that is already in the systemUsers will have to react to this. They’ll have to think more about their privacy options. Or just get used to it. Because this is what the power of feeds and social networks is all about. This is the future.
Fred also pointed to a quote by Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg in Forbes: Before, it was an encyclopedia model, but now were changing to a news model.

Dave Winer explained about the feeds feature:

The feature they introduced tells users what’s new with their friends. It makes people more efficient at browsing the network of Facebook users they’re connected to. It’s a feature I understand because, as Rex Hammock points out, it’s very much like the River of News aggregators I’ve been developing since 1999.

Facebook is absolutely correct that no new information is available now that wasn’t available before, but only in a theoretic sense.

Now, on a much larger scale, with Facebook’s user base, the heads-up has to be done by word of mouth, and opt-in. Instead of forcing all the users to make sense of this all at once, bootstrap a new network on your old one, call it Facebook Plus, or Facebook Big City Life, of Facebook Now, put some futuristic imagery out there, and require users to sign up for an upgrade to their account, which would work thusly.

Suppose I upgraded, and my friend Jane (in my network) also upgraded. Then Jane has a News page, and on that page all my changes show up, along with the changes of all members of her network that have also upgraded. I also have a News page and Jane’s updates show up there, as do all the changes of members of my network who have upgraded.

Now change comes gradually, and users drive the change. When I run into Joan at the bookstore and she tells me she broke up with her boyfriend, I realize I didn’t see that on my News page and ask if she’s upgraded. Now I, a user, her friend, explain how it works. She decides if she wants to participate or not. That’s what users are complaining about, and rightly so. They need to control how their network sees them.

One of the ways to view feeds has been propagated by Dave Winer. It is the River of News.

Tomorrow: River of News

Continue reading